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July 17, 1994

The Fourth Telvar Open Tournament: Characters

Incident at Gerda

The Fourth Open Tournament, July 16, 1994 (January 10, 2170 B.Y.)

A TELVAR Adventure

Dungeon Mastered by: Edwin Brooks Anderson, Jr.
Hosted by: Andrew Anderson and Keith Nelson
Additional Support from: David Chappell

The Characters of the Fourth Telvar Open Tournament (not all are included)

Balmer Ising Lawful Neutral (Evil)

Commander, Special Forces, Garythane City-State Army
You are a shrewd leader of commando forces for the City-State of Garythane. You worked in the city as a thief during the reign of chaotic evil in the city-state. Now that the government is run by a lawful evil oligarchy, you have found a home. Your skills have put you in a position of power. Your task is to recover the infamous Orb of the Night, a morale and vison improvement device for use with troops. It was stolen during the Day that Is Not, and you have been tracking the thief ever since. Somehow the thief made it past some death traps that seem to indicate that the thief was a golem of some sort, but you are not sure. This group was drawn together quickly nad you left illy informed. You know the orb is a small black sphere, and is being carried by a single man-sized being moving across the hills.

There are valleys in these mountains inhabitted by xenophobes who kill all outsiders first and ask questoins later. You thought your party might be a New Empyrean spy who was running to Durrowden, but they have turned north, through a rocky pass, into this valley. The thief’s actions are hard to explain.

Brulsis is a fellow loyal to the city, and Crush the giant is reasonably obedient. You trust both but think little of the giant’s tactical skills. Willis is a devil worshipper and has allegences beyond the city-state. This makes you suspicious of his motives in many circumstances, but he is intelligent and usefull.

Crush Neutral Evil (Neutral)

Special Forces, Garythane City-State Army
You are a member of the Garythane City-State Army because it pays well and gives you a chance to crush things. You are not stupid, just not very smart. You are deformed and awkward moving, but an unstoppable force in most combat situations. The same deformities give you an eye on the side of your head and an ear on top. This makes it impossible to surprise you. Your camouflage makes it possible for you to surprise opponents often on rocky terrain.

The rest of the group treats you as disposable on occasion, and this makes you very uneasy. So far you have not had to fight anything that was a real threat to you, but you worry about the situations that Balmer, and especially Willis, would send you into...

You are a long time friend of the orc tribe Garthclaw’s Raiders and would trust Brulsis under most circumstances. He treats you like a valued ally and would not throw your life away.

All you know about the mission is that you are following some dude into the mountains because he stole a ball of magical darkness.

Willis Bertrand Lawful Evil

Volunteer, Special Forces, Garythane City-State Army
You are a devil worshipper and a volunteer in the Garythane City-State Army. Your physical appearance speaks of simple piety, but underneath is a scheming being of near ultimate evil. The previous ruler of the city-state of Garythane put chaos far too much in power and you are very glad to help the present lawful evil government swing into power, but only as a means of forwarding the cause of lawful evil. You have no interest in the city-state for its own good.

Your task is to recover the infamous Orb of the Night, a morale and vison improvement device for use with troops. It was stolen during the Day that Is Not, and you have been tracking the thief ever since. Somehow the thief made it past some death traps that seem to indicate that the thief was a golem of some sort, but you are not sure. This group was drawn together quickly nad you left illy informed. You know the orb is a small black sphere, and is being carried by a single man-sized being moving across the hills.

There are valleys in these mountains inhabitted by xenophobes who kill all outsiders first and ask questoins later. You thought your party might be a New Empyrean spy who was running to Durrowden, but they have turned north, through a rocky pass, into this valley.

Balmer is a foolish patriot, and Brulsis is stupid enough to worship orcish dieties. Crush is a tool, and should be used as such.

Brulsis Lawful Evil

Leiutenant Commander, Special Forces, Garythane City-State Army

Clan War Chief, Garthclaw’s Raiders Orc Tribe
Your tribe has chosen to throw its lot in with the new government of the Garythane City-State and its plans of conquest of this region of the continent. The leadership is shrewd and strong, and the strong will prosper and survive. You worship Ilneval, the loyal right-hand warrior of the chief orc god, He-Who-Watches. This task is just another mission. You keep in mind that the concerns of the tribe come first, and would not betray the tribe.

Balmer and Willis are just a couple of Garythane soldiers, but you distrust the devil worshipping Willis. Crush is not only a fellow soldier, but an ally of the tribe. You value his life above the humans since he would probably side with Garthclaw’s raiders if something went amiss.

You have a loyal officer named Fritten who is a second level long bow specialist. You also have eight zero level troops:

Fritten, orc, AC (-1) 0/1/4, F2, HP 18 Long Bow specialist, Battle Axe

8 Orcs, AC (2) 3/4/4, HD 1, HP 6, Long Bows and Battle Axes

Ferran Walek Neutral Evil (CN tendencies)

Bounty Hunter
You work for the highest bidder with only one concern, yourself. You enjoy the hunt and the thrill of power from taking down the gretest of game, sentient life. Profit and thrill are more important than death and destruction. You care little for politics and trust no one except faithful Hechas, and even she will no longer be usefull in time. You have the cool of and early movie villan with your tilted

Slink was some assassin wanted by his own guild for breaking the rules. You hunted him down and returned him for the bounty, but the bounty had been dropped. Furious you looked for what you could gain from the situation. Slink had still been banished and he seemed ideal fodder. You could make use of him until he dies. That seemed more efficient than just bagging him.

Hechas Neutral Evil

Bounty Hunter
Although some might mistake you for nothing but a great wolf, you are intelligent, scheming and dangerous. You are a shaman of the the Great Wolf, the greatest of all Worg dieties. You joined with Ferran when you met him and discovered his love ofthe hunt. Now the bond of death between you is strong. With your combined tracking abilities, few stand any chance of escape form your clutches. Ferran enjoys money ad what it will buy him, but to you there is only the hunt and the chance that you can kill the happless prize.

Slink is a loser assassin that Ferran wanted to spare to use as fodder at a later date. You picked hime up when you captured him after a bounty expired. You consider him dead weight and would like him to fit the phrase more easily. He is simply removing soem of the fun of earlier chases.

“Slink”, Oscar Troufalt Chaotic Evil

Bounty Hunter

Former Member of the Shining Wire assassins’ guild
It was two years ago that you fled the city of Felonius after making an assassination outside of guild rules. The price had seemed good until you discoverd that you had killed a guild operative acting as a constable’s scribe. The guild placed a 3000 gold piece bounty on you and you ran for your life. Ferran was i town and hnted you down. You were wanted alive for questioning and torture, so Ferran did rrelatively litle damage as he captured you in the wooded hills out of town. By the time you returned it was discovered that the operative was a double agent and the bounty on your head was dropped. You were still kicked out of the guild for breaking the rules. “Never come back,” they told you.

With no place to go, you suggested that hiring you was a good idea. That has gotten you out of the city and made you some money in the last couple of years. You trust Ferran and Hechas less and less. They seem very uncocerned wiht your safety, but you are only biding the right time to flee with a prize or kill them in the night.

Bugaboo Chaotic Evil (Neutral)

Exiled Bugbear

Samantha Lamondo Neutral Good

Commander, New Empyrean Army
You are an idealist and a patriot. You believe in New Empyrea as the only hope in a sea of confusion. It offers a Nevronian state far beyond the influences of the Royal Empirial Realm. New Empyrea offers answers to religious tensions, sexism, racial conflict, and old poltical entanglements. You are an admirer of Truesister Karolyn, Nevronian cleric leader of New Empyrea. You try to trust all of your fellow Empyrean but realize that they may have local allegences that are stronger than those they have to the rest of the nation.

Garythane and the World Empire are a false beacon. Although they have much reformed with the disappearance of the Tangg-Lord, you see the Empire as an example of govenment gone wrong exercising a brutal strangle hold on its people.

Rygle Vernborne Lawful Good

New Empyrean Army

Durrowden Millitia

You are a loyal member of the Durrowdean Millitia. You objected to early cooperation with the human empire of New Empyrea, but after the fall of the citie sof Loamburrow and Rock Haven you changed your mind. The World Empire will only lead to the extinciton of dwarves and gnomes at the hands of the orcs and goblins. You want to see New Empyrea flourish, but the well-being of hill dwarven culture and its lawful good ideals is all important.

Metronna Chaotic Good

New Empyrean Army

Shell Magic Users’ Guild
Shell is a city run by the great albino wizard Ekrubage the Pale. You are a member of the wizard’s guild there, and owe a certain amount of allegience to the city above New Empyrea. A strange mix of politics and adventure seems to fit your likes.

Nordis Firebrand Neutral Good

New Empyrean Army

Newford Millitia Afield

You come from the mercahnt city of Newford, the largest city in New Empyrea. Your clan lives in the hills nearby and you serve as a security officer for merchant caravans when you are not serving in the army.

Michael Osborne Lawful Good

Nevronian Cleric

New Empyrean Army

Sayer Trueblood Chaotic Good

New Empyrean Army
You are here as standard army. You have few ties to anywhere, but you want to make sure the good guys win in the political struggle taking place. You believe in New Empyrea and its basic framework because it is such an open stucture. Government is a neccesary evil, and weak central government seems te best bet.

The dwarf gets on your nerves. He’s picky and pushy. You would stand up for him as much as any of the party in a fight, but otherwise you might tease him.

Schaelyck Chaotic Evil

Field Commander
You have been sent out to make a crucial purchase. Soon an elven thief will deliver the infamous Orb of the Night. The Orb is a magical item that confers great morale powers in pitch darkness. it has vision altering powers and confusion abilities. Possessing it would be a great boon to you and your fellow Derro Dwarves’ quest to destroy the mainstream dwarven kingdom. It would work all of the time underground, where the real battles would take place. You are unconcerned with surface politics.

In your travel case in the waterfall stronghold there is an iron box to which you hold the key. Inside is eighty thousand gold pieces worth of gems and jewelry. Your task is to get the item from thte thief. You know he has stolen it from a surface empire called the World Empire, a lawful Evil country. You are to get the orb at all costs. If you could get it without paying you could pocket the money, but he operative would be lost...

Three days ago you arrived at the outpost alone and met the four dwarves manning it: a savant named Telzwick, his student “Straws”, and two warriors named Belikae and Jeshkus. They are probably good demon worshippers like yourself so you do not trust them completely. The derro dwarf who walks back to the settlement with the orb’ in hand will be rich and powerfull...

Telzwick Chaotic Evil

Student Savant

Outpost Monitor

You have recieved word that an elven thief has stolen an item known as the Orb of the Night. The Orb is a magical item that confers great morale powers in pitch darkness. it has vision altering powers and confusion abilities. Possessing it would be a great boon to you and your fellow Derro Dwarves’ quest to destroy the mainstream dwarven kingdom. It would work all of the time underground, where the real battles would take place. You are unconcerned with surface politics.

Three days ago, a field commander named Schaelyck arrived carrying an iron box. You are aware that the box contains the money to buy the Orb of the Night. You work at the outpost with three other derro dwarves: your student “Straws” and two warriors: Jeshkus and Belikae.

Straws: Spell-Wall of Fog, has magic spear, spiked buckler, short sword

Belikae: Has short sword, repeating crossbow with poison, buckler

Jeshkus: Has spiked buckler, spear, and pick

Nearby is your ally Looper, a natural stone gargoyle. He is unaffected by normal weapons but a weak fighter. He was a runt and a reject from his home. You also have a undead, skeletal bat that you can fly about as a scout:

AC 7, MV 15”, HD 1/2, HP 2, Speed 6, Damage 1 point

You wil do whatever is neccesary to get the orb in derro dwarf hands.

You would prefer not to break your truce with the natives of the valley. You have set up trade with them through drop-offs at the waterfall. The food they provide makes your life much easier, and occasionally you get gems. Stashed away in your quarters under a loose floor stone are 7 gems of 100 GP value.

The derro dwarves are part of a group of dwarves banished from the dwarven kingdom for meddling in magic and trying to overthrow the king. Long ago a group of dwarves found they could obtain sage-like spell powers through arcane experimentation. The king declared in ‘Black magic’ and a civil war began between the magic-using dwarves and those loyal to the king. The rebellion failed. All of the dwarves who revilted wrere banished and cursed not to grow a beard for a hundred generations, about twenty thousand years... The derro dwarves have honed thier maigcal skills ever since. You now have the opportunity to do some damage to the hill dwarven kingdom at Durrowden with the Orb!

Looper Chaotic Evil
You are a creature of natural caves, and you presently live by a waterfall. You count on your dwarven allies for gems. You do wark for them and they give you cut gems or food. Hidden near the water fall in a small cave are 7 gems you have and like. The people in the valley are scared of you, but the dwarves have told you not to mess with the humans.

Today different humans have appeared, and you have flown to tell the dwarves.

The Fourth Open expected attendee list, which may not reflect ACTUAL attendees:

1 Andrew B. Anderson
2 Kathryn Klawiter
3 Rodger L. Henson
4 Keith Nelson
5 Chris Allen
6 Steve Barbe
7 David T. Chappell
8 John Johnson
9 Alan Jones
10 Rhonda S. Jones
11 David Keen
12 Ashley Merritt
13 Stephanie Parker
14 Sean Paus
15 David Sakell
16 Rick Smathers
17 Scott Tillman
18 Eric Wright
19 Adam Majewski
20 David C. Jones
21 Dean Nestvogel

July 16, 1994

The Fourth Telvar Open Tournament: Incident at Gerda

Incident at Gerda: July 16, 1994 (January 20, 2170 B.Y.)
"Which way did they go?"
[Attendance 21 people.]

The Fourth Telvar Open took place at Gerda in the Far World. It involved the transport of an Evil artifact through the lands controlled by a Druid, and the many forces passing through the area at the same time.

The Incident was a victory for Evil, although the Druid managed to avoid any pitched battles within his demesne as well.

As Keith Nelson noted, "Looper the Gargoyle threw everything!"

Sean Paus, who played Bobas and his intelligent short sword Wogo, wrote to describe his character's perspective in the game:

I knew I should never have taken the job. From the very beginning I smelled something bad, and it wasn’t just the three dwarves sitting across the table from me. I’ve always considered myself pretty shrewd when it comes to accepting a job, but I think the money clouded my judgment on this one.

It seemed pretty simple enough. For 100,000 gold pieces they wanted me
to steal some rock from some grand poobah wizard of the World Empire, in
Garythane, and bring it to them. They sat there, nervous in their fake
beards, while I “contemplated” their offer. I had already decided to
accept their offer, but I have a reputation to uphold and acting too
eager always gets you into trouble. I asked a few more key questions
(just for effect), paused, and then accepted their offer. We performed
whatever ritual they felt necessary to seal the deal and went our
separate ways.

Now, don’t get me wrong, breaking into the inner sanctum of even a
not-so-grand wizard of the World Empire is no mean feat. There are all
sorts of deadly traps, creatures and magical wards you have to bypass in
order to make it there. Getting out is just as bad, and even worse if
you really screw up. However, even the most intelligent people in the
world have a blind spot, and about five years ago I discovered his.

I know what you’re thinking, “Five years? You knew a way into just
about the biggest treasure trove of magic in the world for five years
and didn’t take advantage of it until now?” You have to understand,
there’s a lot of stuff in there -- valuable, powerful stuff -- and it’s
not that easy figuring out what to take and what to leave behind. You
have to know what it is you want. You could get in there, pick up
something that looks good, and get out only finding it just cleans
teeth. You also have to know how it’s guarded. There are all sorts of
nasty surprises waiting for you in the most innocuous places. As I’ve
said before, I have a reputation to uphold.

It took a while before the right window of opportunity to appear. I’m a
patient man though. You have to be when you live for hundreds of years.
It’s no wonder humans keep dropping like flies. Their life spans are
so short they have to live recklessly just to do enough with them. Pity.

Sorry. I got sidetracked just then. Anyway, said window of opportunity
appeared in the form of some star conjuctive thingy the humans so
cleverly call “The Day that Is Not” (imagine some booming, echoey effect
there). So, I got in easily enough, and the idiot was nice enough to
leave it out in plain sight. Usually he wouldn’t leave something this
powerful lying around. His mind must be getting soft in his old age. I
took the usual precautions, put the rock in my special bag, and made my
way back out. I must have been a little too excited about the money I
was soon to collect, because I slipped up on my way out. It wasn’t a
big slip up, but it was bad enough that it made collecting my money that
much more challenging.

So I set off a small alarm. It happened just before I reached the exit.
Knowing I was so close to getting away with it probably made me
overconfident. Then I tripped the alarm. Luckily it didn’t alert the
really important people in the complex. Otherwise, I might have had to
abort the mission and drop the rock. But, it did start a chain of
events that would eventually make it up to the wizard, so I didn’t have
much time.

Before I knew it a contingent of the Garythane army was being mobilized,
obviously to find me. I doubted very seriously that any other event had
occurred to warrant that. Not that I’m bragging, mind you, it’s just
that this rock was pretty important.

Now, some of you may know that the armies of the World Empire employ
humanoids and giants in their ranks, as well as humans. There’s usually
some small contingent of human leaders and the rest are made up of Orc
grunts and Giant powerhouses. Now, Orcs are notoriously stupid, they
breed like rabbits and don’t have much care for their own lives, so they
make good fodder. Giants are both stupid and slow. The later being the
most important point. I knew that military division would have no
chance at all of catching me, unless they did something really
unexpected, like leave the giants behind. True to form they marched
right out of that complex, hungry for my blood, with that slow agonizing
pace that is typical of giants.


You’d think that I’d have made a clean getaway. You’d be wrong. Some
enterprising individual put two and two together and sent another group
after me. They weren’t World Empire, they were too good, but I figured
they were hired by Garythane to find me. It didn’t take them long to
close a considerable amount of distance between us. By then I was on to
them and was able to keep enough distance between us to keep from being
caught. But, boy did I have to hurry. I tried several tricks to make
them lose the scent. I like to think it slowed them down, but I’m not
so sure. Like I said, these guys were good. In the end, by the time I
made it to the valley I was a good 8 to 12 hours ahead of them. Not a
good margin at all.

Luckily, the valley was heavily wooded. I figured that I might be able
to lose them, but they had foiled many of my tricks and I wasn’t sure I
had the time to waste on another one.

I may be an Elf, but I’m not a big fan of the woods. Sure, they’re
pretty and serene, but there’s no money in them and what money is there
is probably guarded by something too dangerous to tangle with, and too
stupid to fall for clever tricks. Plus, they’re too secluded. I love
the city: plenty of people to talk to, swindle, carouse with, and steal
from. It’s the life for me.

Maybe it was because of my current situation and my ultra heightened
sense of paranoia, but I felt as if there was something in the forest
watching me. I dismissed it as unnecessary paranoia and continued on my
way. Before long my unheeded warnings caught up with me for a bird
landed on the ground in front of me and turned into a human.

I’ve never understood druids, like I’ve never truly understood my
people’s fascination with forests. I have a theory that they are Elf
wannabes. Anyway, this particular druid was typical for his kind:
backwards, untrusting of anything from civilized lands, smelly, and
rude. He demanded to know why I was here. I mentioned that I was a
currier sent to deliver a package to a group of Dwarves in the northern
part of the valley. He indicated that the only Dwarves he was aware of
were untrustworthy and not worth dealing with. He suggested I follow
him back to his village while he considered the matter of my passage.

I had no objection. I still had time to deliver, and I thought that in
addition to the amount of deterrent this Druid would make for my
pursuers, I probably shouldn’t piss him off. When we got to his village
it was deserted except for a small group of people who looked as if they
were completely out of there element. They were definitely foreign to
the valley, and definitely not from Garythane. Good, I could use this.

In my line of work it pays to know when to lie, when to tell the truth,
and when to do both. I knew that I couldn’t get away with my simple
story of being a currier, and if I wanted to get these people to protect
me, they needed to know what was going on. So, I told them the truth.
I didn’t tell it willingly, I didn’t know them well enough. But, I did
let them slowly pry it out of me and eventually I told them everything.
I told them who I was, what I had done, why I had done it and what I
was carrying with me. They understood the full weight of what I was
saying and didn’t take long to arrive at a decision.

They decided that the rock needed to go to the Dwarves at White
Mountain. They asked if I would be willing to entrust them with the
rock. I certainly would not, because I wouldn’t get paid, but I didn’t
tell them that. My excuse was that I really didn’t now them all that
well and didn’t feel that I could trust them to do what they claimed.
They could very easily be a ruthless group of merchants looking only to
exploit the resources of the Druids wood for all I knew. Being the good
people that I knew they were they did not fault me for that logic and
did not press the issue. They did give me directions to the White
Mountain, however, and said that their business with the Druid was too
important for them to accompany me (like I would have traveled with them
anyway). That was all well and good as I had no intention of going to
the White Mountain anyway and needed an excuse to leave by myself. The
only problem was that of dealing with my pursuers.

Happily, that problem resolved itself as they showed up right when I was
about to leave. Things couldn’t have gotten better. I yelled something
like “It’s the Imperial army!”, and there was some confusion as both
sides readied for battle. This was working out perfectly. Then, my new
found friends decided to parlay.

I just wanted them to get to the killing so that I could forget about
the immediate problem and work on the next. That on was a much more
difficult one that I still hadn’t had time to figure out. I’ll get to
that later.

We found out that my pursuers were working, not for Garythane, but for
an individual by the name of Lamplack. I dunno, maybe he likes darkness
or something. Or maybe he is in need of a lamp. Anyway, these guys
claimed that they didn’t want to kill me, they just wanted to work with
me. They wanted to take the rock to this Lamplack fellow who would pay
nicely for it. They even offered to split the payment with me. The
funny thing is that I believed them. I am absolutely certain that they
meant what they said and would have kept their word. I even considered
going off with them, except that I kind of already dug myself a hole
with this other party and so I stuck to my story that they were Imperial
soldiers, they wanted to kill me and, most importantly, they wanted to
take the rock back. I figured that would get my new found “friends” moving.

Oddly enough, the situation cleared itself up in an entirely unexpected
way. One of the guys working for this Lamplack fellow decided to off
his leader. One minute he’s talking, the next he’s lying on the ground,
still as a corpse, with an arrow sticking out of his back. It was very
clear who the culprit was and the Lamplack crew had no problem
restraining him. My new found “friends” even did their leader a service
by healing him before he had a chance to really die. No matter, he was
out of commission. The remainder of his party was less sure of
themselves without the help of their leader and the other fellow, and so
they conceded defeat.

Advantage: me.

I “agreed” to take the rock to White Mountain, over the objections of
the Lamplack crew, and we parted company. Even the Druid stayed behind.
Not as surprising as you might think. Deciding whether he should keep
an eye on some powerful and questionable people or me was very easy. I
think, you see, he had no real choice. So I got to leave unescorted,
just as I wanted.

Now I came to the next hurtle. You see, Dwarves with fake beards means
beardless dwarves, and that means Derro. I’m no fan of Dwarves in
general, but Derro are pretty vile. Not only do they smell worse than
regular Dwarves, but they’re completely evil and will sell their own
mothers if they thought it was worth it. I harbored no illusions that I
could just walk into their cave, give them the rock, and walk out
100,000 gold pieces richer. That would get me nothing. Or worse, it
would get me dead. I needed a plan, and I was running out of time.

I made my way out the Druid’s village whereupon I encountered a couple
of stupid Orcs. Crap. That contingent from Garythane must have sent a
couple of advanced scouts. Well, by advanced I of course mean “far on
in time or course”, not so much “being beyond others in progress or
ideas.” However, let me illustrate with an example:

Orc 1: You! Stop!
Me: Who? Me?
Orc 2: Yes! You! You, stop!
Me: Why?
Orc 1: We look for man with rock!
Orc 2: Are you man with rock!?
Me: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have no rock.
Orc 1: ???
Orc 2: ???
Me: Me am not man with rock!
Orc 1: You see man with rock!?
Me: Yes! Man with rock go there!
Orc 2: We go find man with rock!
Me: Good luck!
Orc 1: ???
Orc 2: ???
Me: Grrrrr!!
Orc 1:
Orc 2:

And then we parted company. Seriously though, do they have to yell all
of the time?

I was expending a lot of energy being clever, but not in the way I
really needed. I needed to take a short break so I could come up with a
plan that would unite me with that sweet, sweet gold. Plus, that
feeling of being watched returned. I doubled back, diverted my two Orc
friends again, and ducked into an empty hut.

Options, options. What were my options? I had a band of stinky Derro
who would most likely kill me if they got a chance. Can’t go there with
the Orb. What about hiding it? If I didn’t have it on me when I met
the Derro, I could convince them not to kill me. Then, I could take one
of them to the Orb, exchange it for the gold, and be on my way. Of
course, they wouldn’t honor sending only one of them with me. They’d
try to find some way to ambush me once the exchange was made. I needed
to find or set up a good escape route. I could hide the Orb there and
the gold and I would live happily ever after.

By the time I was on my way again, it was getting dark. Time was
running short. I started heading in the direction of one of the cliff
faces, thinking that an escape route would reveal itself when I was
approached by a flying rock man.

With horns.

And bat wings.

And long fangs.

Not something you’d normally see in a forest. This was a Gargoyle, and
not an animated statue sort of thing. I know gargoyle statues, and I
know animated objects, and I know Golems. I’ve seen a lot of them in my
line of work. This was none of those things. This was an honest to
goodness living creature.

I suddenly realized two things: 1) this was my would-be stalker, and 2)
he had to be working with the Derro.


He tried to take the Orb by force. Luckily, my short sword, XXX, was
able to injure him, but he didn’t back off. I took a couple of hits and
then one of my contingencies kicked in. XXX transformed into a Dire
Weasel. This gave the Gargoyle pause, at which point he left.

He must have known that he could have taken me alone, but with the
weasel it was a different story. He caught up with me again a few
minutes later and offered me a gemstone. He pointed to the bag at my
waist and held out his hand.

I shook my head and pointed to the gemstone. I made motions with my
hands indicating “bigger,” at which point he few away again.

I encountered him a third time before I made it to the cliff face. This
time he had two handfuls of gemstones! Paydirt! I exchanged the Orb
for the gemstones and made my merry way out of the valley, never to
return again. Now I sip expensive fruit flavored alcoholic beverages on
a beach surrounded by dozens of beautiful women.

As if!
I encountered him a third time before I made it to the cliff face. This
time he had two handfuls of gemstones! Paydirt! I was sure it wasn’t
the whole 100,000gp, but it looked like a lot of money. I exchanged the
Orb for the gemstones and we parted company.

Big. Mistake.

Now, I just want you to understand that this was an irreconcilable
situation. Surely, the Gargoyle had alerted its masters of my
whereabouts and were themselves enroot as the Gargoyle and I stood there
pantomiming our exchange. Really, I had no other choice. If only I had
taken the time to check the value of the gemstones I had acquired I
might have tried something else.

In all, I netted about 700gp worth of garnets. Garnets!

Stunned by my own blunder, I accidentally wandered back into the Druid’s
village. Everyone wanted to know why I was back. Quickly, I stated
that I had gotten turned around in the forest, apologized for the delay,
and went on my way.

Of course, some one must have noticed that I was one belt pouch short,
because they caught up with me as I exited the valley. I tried to get
away, but they captured me. I confessed to giving the Orb away, and
after I convinced them I was no longer in possession of the rock they
let me go.

Those garnets bought me a nice meal, a warm bath, and some evening
company in one of my favorite slums. But, not enough drink, yet, to
cure me of this horrible memory.

But don’t fret for me. I’m a sly one you know, and I’ll be back on my
feet before you know it. In fact, I’m thinking of taking on another job
involving part of a broken rod or something. It’s reputed to be locked
away in some ancient archmage’s tomb. I haven’t done a tomb job in a
while. Plus the pay is good. Although, I’m not so sure about these
characters with their shaved heads and van Dyke beards. They look kind
of sinister if you ask me. Well, I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to get
paid this time. It just takes a little patience.

John Johnson -
Alan Jones - Tauh-Aisia
Adam Majewski -
Rodger Henson - Schaelyck
Chris Allen - Telzwick
Sean Paus -
David Jones -
Scott Tillman -
Ashley Merritt -
David Chappell -
Steve Barbe - Balmer Ising
David Sakell - Looper (stole the character sheet and gave it back)
Kathryn Klawiter -
Stephanie Parker -
Eric Wright -
Rick Smothers -
Andrew Anderson -
Dean Nestvogel -
David Keen - One of the Orcs
Rhonda Jones -

Tauh-Aisia (solo)
Bobas & Wogo (character & sword)
Looper, Schaelyck, Telzwick
Ferran Walek, Hechas, "Slink," Bugaboo
Balmer Ising, Willis Bertrand, Crush, Brulsis, Fritten
Samantha Lamondo, Michael Osborne, Metronna, Nordis, Rygle Vernborne, Sayer